Category archives: News

1979 Aussie touring car champion headed to auction

Bob Morris drove the independently owned Holden Torana to the national championship in 1979 | Mossgreen Auctions photos
Bob Morris drove the independently owned Holden Torana to the national championship in 1979 | Mossgreen Auctions photos

In the 1970s, the Holden Torana was Australia’s fastest muscle car, and the basis for the GM subsidiary’s battle against Ford in the nation’s touring car championship racing series, which was just as intense, perhaps even more so, than Camaro vs. Mustang in the Trans-Am series in North America.

In 1979, Australian touring car history was made when an independently entered Holden Torana won the championship, with Bob Morris beating the legendary Peter Brock for the series title. Continue reading

Gary Bennett retiring from Barrett-Jackson auctions

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Gary Bennett attended the inaugural Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in 1971 as a customer. He returned annually to buy and sell, and after leaving his architecture practice and other ventures, he joined Barrett-Jackson as senior auto specialist, the job Craig Jackson held before becoming head of the family firm. This morning, Barrett-Jackson announced Bennett’s retirement from his position as vice president of consignment for the auction company. Continue reading

Three 1920s sports classics offered by Bonhams at Greenwich

The Stutz Model M Dual-Cowl Speedster is a rare sport/luxury car | Bonhams photos
The Stutz Model M Dual-Cowl Speedster is a rare sport/luxury car | Bonhams photos

Three sporty 1920s classics will be among the early automobiles offered during Bonhams’ auction in  Greenwich, Connecticut,  on June 4th at the waterfront Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. Continue reading

Event roundup: Datsun 1600 pickup wins class at Texas concours

The Datsun pickup on the red carpet receives its concours award | Concours of Texas
The Datsun pickup on the red carpet receiving its concours award | Concours of Texas

It might seem surprising that such a high-end event as the Concours d’Elegance of Texas would have a truck category. But the class winner was an even bigger surprise: a preserved 1972 Datsun 1600 pickup truck nicknamed “Sweet Pea.”

Lovingly maintained by its original owner, Marvin Askew, the simple Datsun was nestled in among about 125 classics and sports cars, as well as other trucks in its class, at the Concours of Texas, which was held April 23 at Richard Greene Linear Park in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1964 Triumph TR4

The early Triumph TR4 appears to be in excellent condition
The early Triumph TR4 appears to be in excellent condition

The values of certain cars in the classic car hobby don’t always make a lot of sense.

Take, for instance, the Triumph TR4. The most valuable TR4 roadsters are the later TR4A cars that have independent rear suspension. On the surface, this would make sense as you would think that having IRS would be an improvement over the earlier live-axle models. Continue reading

Historic racers featured at Bonhams’ upcoming Spa sale

Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G among the cars returning to site of Belgian Grand Prix | Bonhams photos
Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G among the cars returning to site of Belgian Grand Prix | Bonhams photos

With the auction being held at the famed Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, it only makes sense that the docket for the Bonhams sale features a starting grid of vintage racing machines. They include everything from a Grand Prix-winning Benetton-Cosworth Ford F1 racer to a 1969 Volvo Amazon 122S Group 2 rally car.

https://news.classiccars.com/benetton-f1-racer-joins-bonhams-spa-sale-docket/

Considered to be the star of the auction is the 1991 Benetton-Cosworth Ford B191 that won the Canadian Grand Prix and during its racing career was driven by Nelson Piquet, Roberto Moreno and Michael Schumacher. The car also finished fifth in the British Grand Prix and eighth in the French race in 1991. Wearing Benetton colors, Bonhams has assigned the car a pre-sale estimated value of €750,000 to €950,000 ($820,000 to $1.4 million).

Back at Spa for the first time since the 1986 season is another F1 racer, a 1986 Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G originally campaigned by Piercarlo Ghinzani, a European F3 champion who went on to start 77 F1 races.

“Ghinzani privately maintained a number of the cars that he drove during his varied career, and this 1.5-liter turbocharged machine is a highly original and ‘on the button’ example with extensive in-period race history including outings at the legendary Circuit de Spa Francorchamps,” Bonhams said in its pre-auction news release.

The auction house notes that the car has been restored and is powered by a period V8 engine that Ghinzani owned but that was never used in a race. The car’s pre-sale estimated value is €90,000 to €120,000 ($100,000 to $130,000).

Another and significantly more valuable Alfa Romeo with competition history is the former 1969 Autodelta Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior, a works racer that debuted in the 1969 Tour de Corse with Enrico Pinto driving. Bonhams notes that the car had a long racing history, including class victories at the Nurburgring and Paul Ricard and second overall in the 1972 GR Brno. The pre-sale estimate is €290,000 to €340,000 ($320,000 to $375,000).

The docket also includes another ex-Autodelta 1969 Alfa Romeo GTA Junior valued at €320,000 to €375,000 ($350,000 to $410,000).

VW T1 transporter and Martini-liveried Group 5 Porsche
VW T1 transporter and Martini-liveried Group 5 Porsche

The docket also includes Porsches, among them a 1979-81 911 Type 935 dp35 Group 5 competition coupe valued at €400,000 to €500,000 ($440,000 to $550,000)

“When, after much deliberation, the FIA eventually agreed on its new formula for 1976, the creation of the Group 5 (extensively modified) category gave Porsche the opportunity to let its imagination and engineering expertise shine through,” Bonhams reported. “A stream of exotic prototypes with the very briefest of connections to the production 911 came to the fore, such as the 1979/1981 Porsche 911 Type 935 dp35 Group 5 Competition Coupé.

“One of only three built by dp motorsport, this staggeringly rare competition model has competed extensively in Scandinavia, and is believed to have competed in the 1999/2000 Swedish GTR Championship. Accompanied by a DMSB-Wagenpass attesting that this is a genuine Group 5 car, this machine will undoubtedly be a serious contender on the classic race track.”

Also being offered is a 1976 Porsche 934/5 Kremer Group 4 competition coupé in Martini racing livery. The car raced three times during the 1976-77 seasons and then was retired. Bonhams expects it to sell for €320,000 to €400,000 ($350,000 to $440,000).

Among other vehicles scheduled to cross the block are:

1965 Jaguar E-type semi-lightweight coupe
1965 Jaguar E-type semi-lightweight coupe
  • A 1996 Ferrari F355 Challenge coupe.
  • A 1965 Lotus Elan 26R built to FIA racing specification that already has an impressive vintage racing history.
  • A 1971 Ford Capri RS2600 lightweight competition coupe originally owned by French Formula 3 champion Francois Mazet.
  • A 1969 Volvo Amazon 122S Group 2 factory rally car.
  • A 1965 Jaguar E-type 3.8-liter semi-lightweight competition roadster.
  • The 1989 Belgian Procar championship-winning Audi V8 quattro.
  • The 1986 Belga Stuurwiel-winning BMW 325i Juma Group N comp coupe.
  • An original Volskwagen T2 transporter.

Also on the Spa docket is the so-called Castle Collection of a dozen classic vehicles discovered at a castle in Switzerland. Among them are a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, 1921 and 1934 Rolls-Royce, Maserati Indy America and others.

The Mitty celebrates 40 years of vintage racing

Vintage racers race around Road Atlanta in the 40th Mitty Challenge | Patrick Tremblay photos
Vintage racers hurry around Road Atlanta in the 40th Mitty | Patrick Tremblay photos

The final day of the 40th running of the Classic Motorsports Mitty, sanctioned by HSR, was met with inclement weather, but the spirit of those racing at Road Atlanta was not dampened. The three-day racing event last month featured many races won by mere tenths of a second and by drivers showed mutual respect and clean racing with green flags throughout most sessions. Continue reading

Laguna Seca poster features first winning car

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Poster recalls the first race at Laguna Seca track | Image courtesy Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca continues to celebrate its 60th anniversary by honoring the track’s inaugural race victory. The track’s first race was held  November 10, 1957, and was won by Pete Lovely in his Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa. That event will be featured in the 2017 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion poster, by art by Bill Patterson.

Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1961 Pontiac Bonneville

The 56-year-old Pontiac Bonneville seems to be in remarkably preserved condition
The 56-year-old Pontiac Bonneville seems to be in remarkably preserved condition

Named for the famous speed-record Salt Flats in Utah, Bonneville was Pontiac’s luxury/performance car done on a grand scale. Bonneville hit its stride in 1959 as the brand launched its big wide-track models, and it led the division for the next decade.

The Bonneville sports a 'bubbletop' roofline
The Bonneville sports a ‘bubbletop’ roofline

The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Pontiac Bonneville hardtop, with a roofline so trim and its front and rear glass so broad that it’s called a “bubbletop,” a great look also offered at the time by the other GM divisions. More than 18 feet long and fully loaded with features, the 3,900-pound Bonneville is a monumental automobile that helped launched the muscle-car era of the 1960s. Continue reading

First prototype Ferrari 275 GTB/4 heads to London auction

The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was unveiled in Paris in 1966 | Coys photos
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was unveiled in Paris in 1966 | Coys photos

The factory prototype Ferrari 275 GTB/4, unveiled at the 1966 Paris Motor Show in the debut of one of the most-beautiful and best-performing GT coupes of the era, will be offered May 18 during Coys’ London auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls.

The 275 GTB/4, powered by a 300-horsepower four-cam V12 engine, was a game changer for Ferrari, boosting the power and performance of the Pininfarina-styled coupe that combined racecar design with a comfortable touring car of uncompromising elegance. Continue reading